10 Success Tips for New Graduates & Interns

Your first job out of college or internship can be an exciting, but it can also be quite overwhelming experience. As you start your first internship or first “real” job after graduating from college, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the new experiences. You may not know everything you need to know about how to conduct yourself at the office as a professional and how to get ahead in the organization. However, there are a few tips and tricks you or any college student can employ to help you get off on the right foot.

1. Start Your Career

In the start of your career, as you transition from college to working life, it can be very difficult finding a good job. Graduating from college and entering the working world can be both exciting and daunting. You have to learn about the job search process, what industry you would like to begin your career with, how to profile your potential employers, how to interview as a professional so that you stand out from other candidates, and the responsibility required to become a reliable professional.  However, when you’re new to the workforce, it can be hard to know what to expect. When you start your career, you should remember that there are many things you need to know in order to succeed.There are many things to consider, such as whether to take a job offer or to try to find your own path. The biggest miss for a new graduate is not starting your career the way you should. Undergraduate, graduate, entry-level jobs, and senior-level jobs all have very different expectations of what they can offer interns and young professionals.

2. Become Self-Aware

Self-awareness is the foundation of knowledge, wisdom and understanding. This is all about understanding yourself so that you can know and understand others better. New graduates alone will still have a lot of growth to do, but by becoming self-aware they will have already made a lot of progress towards growing in wisdom, becoming more self-sufficient in their lives and growing in self-love. From having to survive in a job market that is competitive and their first few months of work being very hectic, they need all the help they can get. If you are a new graduate with dreams of becoming an entrepreneur, then becoming self-aware should be at the top of your priority list. Being aware of your emotional state will allow you to manage stress more effectively, and choose the right career path for yourself.

3. Be Self-Motivated

It is important to set yourself apart in a professional environment. Whether you are starting off at a new job or getting your first internship, be self-motivated and take initiative. There are many opportunities out there for people who are self-motivated and want to excel.

Being a new graduate or intern often means becoming your own boss. We are advanced with skills and knowledge, yet no one really wants to tell us what to do. The biggest advantage new graduates have over seasoned ones is self-motivation. Becoming successful in your field rarely comes from following someone else’s lead. . There will be moments where all of this goes out the window and there is no turning back but I still think the most important thing overall is to be self-motivated. New graduates and interns must be self-motivated, otherwise they will never be successful. At the very least, be open to new opportunities presented by your new employer. At worst, if you have an outstanding degree or even a university internship which could count towards your qualifications, this process can be harder. Be willing to take the initiative on applying for that new job, even if it does mean working hard to convince them that you should be hired.

4. Be Proactive

One of the most important things you can do as a new graduate or intern is to take initiative. To work in an industry where your employer values your hard work, you have to show them that you are willing to put in the time and effort necessary to accomplish the tasks that are required of you. Take responsibility for your role in the company by tackling any problems that arise in your workplace.

New graduates and interns are often overwhelmed by the change that comes with transitioning into a new career. You are anxious, overwhelmed and probably have a lot of questions. It’s good to ask advice in this situation. It’s important to remember that life after graduation isn’t all work, set hours and regular check-in. New grads and interns should think of themselves not just as employees but as partners in creating a successful business. Successful business always includes working with an employer who will help you find opportunities that fit your interests and life experiences, assisting you in making the best out of what you’ve got.  New graduates and interns are faced with their first real job challenge, so they should be proactive in developing their knowledge as far as layering and applying new knowledge.

5. Develop Skills

College graduates who are now entering the job market may find themselves in unfamiliar territory. The days of being able to coast by with a degree are gone, and now a college graduate is expected to have the skills needed to be competitive.

Graduating from college is a time of transition and change. It is a big step for you to make in your life and all the more so when you’re not just moving away from home, but into the unknown. The chances are high that the transition will be difficult and stressful for you. That’s why it’s important to prepare yourself by knowing what to expect and what the transition will be like. Developing skills is not as hard as you think. It’s hard to be motivated when you are feeling overwhelmed, but knowing what to do is the first step. Once you know where to start, you need a strategy. Before you learn how to develop skills, you need to know how to learn things. 

Today, there are several references available to anyone who needs to learn new skills –  training websites such as LinkedIn Learng and PluralSight , YouTube, and blogs.

6. Be A Team Player

It’s not until after you’ve left school that you realize how much you learned there from. Teachers who have nothing but your success in mind, friends that will stick by your side no matter what, and a sense of community that you often only find in college. But one of the most important lessons to learn in college is how to be a team player, since all of the team projects you had to do with your classmates are just the beginning.

To succeed in your career, you need to be a team player. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket because if you do, you risk losing out on opportunities. By being a team player, you will be able to build a professional network of contacts and will be able to capitalize on your skills. Furthermore, when you have a team around you, it will make the process easier for you and allow you to feel more at ease with your work.

7. Find A Mentor

A great way to figure out what your career path is going to be is to find a mentor. The company you choose to work for will have a large impact on your career. Whether you are going to work for yourself or work for someone else, the best way to figure out what you want to do is to find a mentor. The company you choose to work for will have a large impact on your career. Whether you are going to work for yourself or work for someone else, the best way to figure out what you want to do is to find a mentor.

Finding a mentor can be a really positive experience, even if it’s just as a sounding board to bounce ideas off of. As a recent graduate, you will have the opportunity to meet lots of people with different experiences and backgrounds, and mentors can be found in all walks of life. For example, a college professor may know about your dream job and introduce you to someone in the field. This person may become your mentor, and you can pick their brain for advice.

8. Learn How To Budget Your Money

Budgeting can be a difficult thing to master, and it’s even harder when you’re just starting out and don’t have much money coming in. Budgeting money as a new college graduate or an intern can be tough. You’re leaving on your own and are suddenly in charge of all financial decisions. You may think it’s just a matter of not spending more than you make, but a budget is so much more than that. To succeed at budgeting you have to decide what you want your money to do for you, and what you want to do with your money.

Finding the right way to budget your money can be difficult. We don’t want to get into debt and we want to ensure that we can continue to provide for our families. Budgeting your money will ensure that you are able to maintain your lifestyle and set a good foundation for the future.

Budgeting will also allow you have some money for unplanned, necessary expenses if they arise. Some of these expenses could be health care costs, vehicle repairs, or any other type of expense that occurs unexpectedly. Developing and adhering to a budget requires some discipline that will definitely pay off in the long-term. 

9. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

Graduating university is a huge milestone in someone’s life. It signifies your achievement and the end of one part of your life, and the start of another. But it can also be a bit scary as you have to make many important, grown-up decisions from where you will live, what job you should get and who you should ask questions to.

If you’re looking for a new job or internship, you probably know what you’re getting into—and you also know, or have been warned, that it’s not always easy. So it’s no surprise that many new graduates and interns feel a bit apprehensive about asking questions—especially when it’s the first day or week on the job. After all, nobody likes the new guy who’s all over the higher-ups with questions. But don’t assume that asking questions is a bad thing: the best employees and interns are the ones who ask the most questions, because they learn the most.

10. Network with Others

Making the transition from student to professional is a big one for many new graduates and interns. Whether you’re considering a career in a new industry or are just starting your first job out of school, it’s normal to feel anxious about getting separate from your college buddies and adapting to a new environment. Luckily, there are many great ways to make new friends, broaden your horizons, and develop career skills all at once.

Networking is a huge aspect of the work world, and people who are not open to meeting new people are missing out on opportunities. It’s important to realize that the door is never closed, you are always meeting new people, and you can always further your career. When you graduate from college or university, you will find yourself surrounded by people—some of whom will be alumni, others who are just starting to enter the work world. You should take advantage of your time with these individuals to make connections in your field, and learn about your future opportunities.

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